What’s Behind All the Chair-Shifting Involving News Anchors and Talk Hosts? In Most Cases–to No One’s Surprise–It Has to Do With Money

Jun 8, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Television news and television talk are undergoing some dramatic changes, with a dozen top anchors and hosts ranging from Regis Philbin to Katie Couric changing networks or leaving TV altogether. The reasons behind the changes can be found behind the scenes, reports Brian Stelter in The New York Times.

Some network departures relate to money, with Couric, Glenn Beck and Oprah Winfrey choosing to take "equity stakes in themselves, separating from the media conglomerates that have profited mightily from their star power," the story says.

The moves are coming at a time when the media industry is recovering from an advertising downturn created by the recession, and as TV networks are searching for the next big hit. Some hosts, such as Philbin, are leaving due to a generational shift. Philbin has noted that he would like to try something new, but he has not disclosed details about his plans.

Among the others who are in flux: “To name a few,” the story says, “on Friday, Jim Lehrer ended his daily duties on the ‘PBS NewsHour’; on Monday, Scott Pelley replaced Katie Couric on the ‘CBS Evening News’; on Wednesday [today], Meredith Vieira will leave the ‘Today’ show on NBC; and later this month, her former colleague Keith Olbermann will start a new show on Current TV.”

Some look to Tom Brokaw as the model, with the former "NBC Nightly News" anchor keeping active in TV by hosting and producing documentaries and providing commentary on NBC, the story adds.

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